There was a crash, like someone had dropped something heavy, followed by the sound of glass shattering. Ianto Jones felt his eyes twitch, consciousness starting to make its presence known, but he couldn't quite find the strength to move. His body felt heavy, as if it was made from lead.
"Where the hell did he come from?"
There was another heavy thud. Then there was a sharp intake of break.
"Don't ask me! I was standing beside you when that light started to—hold on. Is that who I think it is?"
Ianto groaned as awareness kept returning whether he liked it or not, the pounding in his head keeping a steady beat. One of the men's voices sounded vaguely familiar, and he was certain that he should recognize it. His brain felt slow and sluggish, though, the pieces of the puzzle not quite fitting together well enough to see the final image.
"Ianto? Ianto, can you hear me?"
There was another voice now, a woman this time. It was familiar too, and Ianto knew that he should recognize it. If only the pounding in his head would slow down for just a moment, maybe he could—
"Ianto Jones, I know you can hear me." There was a hand on the side of his face, another resting gently on the side of his neck. "Can you open your eyes?"
It took several tries, but Ianto managed to open his eyes a crack. His vision was blurred, a mess of shadows and splashes of color. And a few inches away from his face, staring down at him with a worried look on her face, was …
"Martha?" Ianto managed to croak out, his voice barely more than a whisper.
Martha Jones smiled at him, though the worry didn't fade from her face. "How do you feel?" she prompted him gently. "What about your vision? Can you see me clearly?"
Ianto blinked a few times, trying to clear his vision. It wasn't perfect by any means, but it did at least help some. "It's a little blurry," he admitted reluctantly. He shifted a little, angling his arms so that he could push himself up into a sitting position.
The world swayed for a moment, his vision going gray, but it began to clear almost as quickly as it had begun. Ianto ignored the irritated look on Martha's face, instead letting his gaze drift past her. Mickey Smith was standing behind her, arms crossed, and a heavy crate resting at his feet. There was another man leaning against the wall beside Mickey, his eyebrow raised. Ianto had never met him before, but he recognized him from photographs. Tom Milligan.
Odd. Didn't actually believe Jack's rumors about them.
Mickey snorted, and Tom rolled his eyes. Martha just shook her head fondly, a smile tugging at the corners of her mouth.
"Did I say that aloud?" Ianto asked, frowning.
"Yes, you did," Martha said, her smile fading. "Which makes me think you hit that head of yours harder than I thought. Behave for a moment and let me have a look."
"So," Martha said, sitting down beside Ianto.
Ianto tore his gaze away from the fire. "So."
They stared at each other for a moment, neither of them saying anything. Then Martha sighed. "The last I heard, you were still in hospital after that incident with the 456," she said. "Gwen said you were shot?"
Ianto shrugged a bit, wringing his hands. "It could have been worse. If I had gone to Thames House with Jack like we'd planned, then— well, I'm sure you saw the news."
Nodding, Martha reached over and rested her hand on top of his, effectively stopping him from wringing them. "I saw the news," she agreed. "I also read some of UNIT's reports on the matter. Don't think that means I didn't notice you avoiding my question."
"Technically, you didn't ask a question," Ianto pointed out wryly.
Martha rolled her eyes. "You just appeared out of thin air in the middle of an abandoned warehouse in Russia where Mickey, Tom, and I just happened to be staying," she said. "Care to explain how and why?"
Ianto gave her a sheepish smile. "I was sorting through some items in the secondary archives, the ones that weren't in the Hub during the explosion, and—"
"You touched something you shouldn't have touched?" Martha guessed, her mouth twitching.
He nodded. "Apparently."
They sat in companionable silence for a minute or two. Then Martha stood up, stretching. "We finished dealing with the Ghaiju earlier, so we're heading back to the UK in the morning. I'm sure that I can arrange for you to get a ride back with us."
"I'd appreciate it," Ianto said, giving her a brief smile.
She smiled back. "I got in touch with a friend who's still in UNIT. She's going to try to let Jack and Gwen know what happened to you, but she couldn't make any promises." Martha raised an eyebrow. "Did Jack really claim to have a device that would turn any UNIT personnel who came near the remains of the Hub into a poodle?"
Ianto grimaced. "Oh, believe me, it works. Owen found that out the hard way a few years ago."
Martha opened her mouth. Then she closed it without saying a word, instead merely shaking her head in amusement. She leaned over a little, kissing Ianto's cheek before resting her head on his shoulder. "It's good to see you, Ianto."
He was glad for the dark when he felt his cheeks grow warm.
Martha gave Mickey a quick peck on the lips. "We're on vacation," she said as she pulled away. "Go enjoy yourselves."
"Are you sure you don't want us to go to Cardiff with you?" Mickey asked warily.
She rolled her eyes, but before she could say anything Tom leaned in to kiss her cheek. Then he grabbed Mickey by the arm, pulling him toward him in a half-hug. "You hate Cardiff."
Mickey shrugged as best he could with only one free arm. "Still."
"Still, nothing," Tom said, rolling his eyes. "Martha's going to visit her friends in Cardiff for a few days, we're going to make use of the very expensive hotel room that's being provided for us free of charge, and by the end of the week I'm sure there will be an alien invasion for the two of you to go help stop."
"You said the nicest things," Mickey said with a snort. His mouth was twitching.
Ianto glanced over at Martha. "Are you sure you—"
"Don't you start now," Martha said, glaring at him.
He closed his mouth.
Tom threw his head back and laughed. Then, keeping his tight grip on Mickey's arm, he started walked. "Have fun," he told Martha. "We'll see you in a few days."
Mickey threw her one more look over his shoulder as Tom all but dragged him away. "You know the rules!" he called back.
Ianto gave her a puzzled look, but she merely rolled her eyes.
"Husbands," Martha said, shaking her head. She offered Ianto her arm. "Sometimes I wonder why I ever thought it would be a good idea to have two of them."
Ianto took her arm, raising an eyebrow. "Is that technically legal?"
Martha waved her free hand. "The Doctor swears that the paperwork he put together for us makes it legal on three point two million planets throughout time and space."
"Is Earth one of those planets?" Ianto asked teasingly.
She nodded. "Anytime after the twenty-third century," she said. "Well, except for a brief spell between the sixty-third and sixty-fifth centuries, where it's legal everywhere except Antarctica."
Jack didn't say anything as Ianto and Martha walked into the cluttered warehouse that was temporarily serving as Torchwood headquarters. He stared at them for a second or two, his eyes going wide. Then, the next thing Ianto knew, Jack had wrapped his arms around him and was kissing him as if he hadn't seen him in months.
"It's only been four days," Ianto said breathlessly as Jack finally let him go.
"It felt like longer," Jack said, running his eyes worriedly over Ianto as he stepped back. "Are you okay? The doctors said you weren't supposed to do anything strenuous for at least another three months. Do you need—"
Ianto reached over and gently placed his hand over Jack's mouth. "Jack, I'm fine," he said reassuringly. "I promise."
"His doctor agrees with that assessment," Martha said, her voice coming from behind him.
Jack's face lit up, as if he had just noticed her. "Martha Jones!" he said with a grin. "Or is it Martha Smith? Martha Milligan? Martha Jones-Smith-Milligan?"
"How about we just stick to Martha?" she asked lightly. She walked up beside Ianto, wrapping her arms around Jack in a tight hug. "How have you been, Jack?"
Ianto couldn't help but notice that Jack didn't actually answer her question. He just hugged her back, his eyes closing for a second or two.
Martha noticed too. "That bad, huh?" she asked wryly as she pulled away.
Jack didn't quite meet either of their gazes. Martha glanced over at Ianto, but he gave her an apologetic shrug. Some things were better off left unspoken.
"So," Martha said, clapping her hands together. "Where's Gwen?"
"She and Rhys are fixing up their new house," Jack said, his smile growing a little less forced. "The last I heard, they were picking out colors for the nursery today."
Martha smiled. "They know whether it's a boy or a girl then?"
Jack shook his head. "No, no, they want to be surprised."
"Rhys wants to paint the room the colors of the rugby team," Ianto said, resting his hand on Martha's shoulder. "Gwen… doesn't."
She gave him a disbelieving look, shaking her head when she realized he was being serious. "Which team?"
Ianto stared at her.
"Never mind," Martha said. "Wales. I should have known."
Jack threw one arm over her shoulder, pulling Ianto close to him with the other. "Come on," he said. "Let's order some food."
"…and then Mickey stood up, calm as can be, and told the leader of the Ryxtili he was sorry, but his harem wasn't for sale."
Ianto coughed as the beer he had just sipped went down the wrong way. Jack leaned over and thumped him on the back even as he laughed.
"Was he still painted blue at that point?" Jack asked, grinning.
Martha nodded. "Most of the feathers were even still there," she said. "He made quite an impressive sight."
"I still don't understand why he was in a dress," Ianto said roughly, a few small coughs still escaping.
"Neither do I," she said dryly, "and I was there."
Jack threw his head back and laughed again. "It sounds like a fun honeymoon," he said, grinning broadly at her. "I wish I'd been there."
"Jack!" Ianto hissed, reaching over the swat him in the chest.
Jack shot him a hurt look. Ianto might have taken it more seriously if Jack's eyes hadn't been twinkling with suppressed mirth quite so much.
"It's fine, Ianto," Martha said, laughing. "I almost wish he had been there."
At that, Jack turned all of his attention on her. Ianto blinked a few times before following suite.
Martha raised an eyebrow. "What?" she asked, taking another sip of her beer. "I'm married to two men, both of whom are very open-minded."
"How open-minded?" Jack asked, his mouth twisting into a grin.
Ianto frowned, thinking back to what Mickey had said as they'd split up back in London. "Does this have something to do with the rules Mickey mentioned?"
Jack glanced at Ianto, though he quickly turned his gaze back toward Martha when she laughed. He raised an eyebrow.
"Mickey and Tom were taking advantage of some perks our last employer offered us in London," she said, her eyes dancing. "They're going to be meeting me here in Cardiff tomorrow."
"And?" Ianto prompted her.
"And," she said, leaning forward so that her face was only an inch or so away from his, "the rules are that I have to save at least a little for them."
Martha leaned forward a little more, pressing her lips against Ianto's. He didn't react for a moment, instead glancing over her shoulder. Jack was watching the two of them hungrily, his eyes bright, and he smiled just a little when he saw Ianto looking at him. Jack gave him a tiny nod.
Ianto relaxed, giving into the kiss. He slowly started to kiss back, blinking in surprise when Martha pulled away a moment or so later, a pang of arousal making itself known.
Jack didn't wait. The moment she pulled away from Ianto, he leaned in and gave her a kiss of his own. Ianto watched, taking in the view as Martha closed her eyes and let herself sink into the kiss for a moment or two.
Ianto smiled as they finally broke apart. "Bed?" he asked lightly, gesturing toward the small room in the corner that he and Jack had been using as a bedroom.
Martha nodded. "Bed."
Jack tilted his head, glancing around the room. "I was actually thinking that the table over there would be—"
"Bed," Ianto and Martha both said, their voices overlapping. Their eyes met, and they both smiled.
"Okay, okay, I give in," Jack said, not sounding very disappointed. "Bed. Let's have some fun before Martha's handsome husbands get here and decide to steal her away from us."
Martha laughed as she looped her arms in theirs. "Oh, don't worry," she said lightly. "I think they had other things in mind."
Ianto stumbled. If anything, Jack's grin grew even wider.